Remote vs. In-Person Depositions

woman in remote meeting on a laptop

Businesses of all kinds have had to change the way they operate in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the legal profession, attorneys have had to figure out how to minimize risk and keep cases moving forward. Depositions are typically conducted in person, but many attorneys have recently begun conducting remote depositions. Since the process is new and unfamiliar, here are some things you should know and tips to help you prepare.

Figure out Where Each Participant Will Be During the Deposition

A witness may be deposed at home or in his or her attorney’s office. The court reporter and others involved in the process, such as an interpreter, may be in one place (socially distanced and/or wearing masks), or they may be in separate locations, with everyone involved communicating electronically. 

Contact each individual who will be involved in the deposition as far in advance as possible. Find out where they will be able to meet and make sure that everyone understands who will be where at the time of the deposition.

Verify That Everyone Has Access to Appropriate Technology

Each person participating in the deposition will need access to a computer or tablet with a video camera and microphone, as well as a reliable internet connection or a mobile wi-fi hotspot. Any device used will need to meet minimum technical requirements to run the deposition videoconferencing software. 

Prior to the deposition, familiarize yourself with the software to be used. Make sure you know how to share documents and perform other important functions.

Conduct a dry run in the days leading up to the deposition. Make sure that everyone’s device works properly and that you can see and hear each other clearly. Create a professional background free of distractions. If you note any issues with lighting or background noise, address them before the day of the deposition.

Give the Witness Instructions

With any deposition, if the witness has documents to present, you should request them ahead of time. That will give you an opportunity to review them so you can ask any relevant questions during the deposition.

Instruct the witness to speak slowly and clearly. During a deposition, the witness should not communicate with anyone else. In a remote proceeding, instruct the witness not to look at a cellphone or email and to inform you immediately if anyone else enters the room.

Schedule a Remote Deposition

A Plus Reporting has adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic by offering remote deposition services. We have three conference rooms that can seat up to 10 individuals, as well as private rooms for witnesses and for other uses. We also offer a fully remote Zoom option. Our team can set up and moderate the event. A court reporter will always be present, and we can record the deposition. Contact us today to learn more.

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